Indian Americans Take Up Guns in Wake of Robberies

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After a spate of violent home invasions and robberies in recent months, Indian Americans living in Roswell, a suburb of northern Atlanta, Georgia, are taking up guns and being helped by the local police in receiving gun training to help protect them from robberies.

Over a recent weekend, community members gathered at a firing range, as Roswell police have so far charged seven Colombian nationals with home invasion. "This is my first time," Ashish Dhume was quoted as saying by AP.

C.K. Patel, former president of the National Federation of Indian Associations, said, "We have reports that Indians were targeted in Atlanta. Indian businessmen and their establishments were being targeted."

According to Patel, Indians are targeted because they keep jewelry at home. "There have been cases where they were robbed of their jewelry immediately after they purchased it from a shop and were bringing it home."

"Some of our friends actually got robbed. We don't want to be victimized when we are at home," he added. "I feel confident I can use the gun and protect myself," he said after receiving an hour-long training.

"I just wanted to see what it feels like and learn some safety issues, more than anything else, just in case I get into a situation," Nivelle Bilimoria said.

Indian American communities in other parts of the United States have also been targets of robberies.
But this is the first time that they are taking training in shooting as a self-defense measure.

"Indians seem to be adverse, probably culturally, but once you settle down in this country, you have got to adapt to the country," Dijjocam Raina was quoted as saying, adding that he had not held a gun in 20 years, but now he plans on buying one and keeping it close for safety.

Local police conceded that the Indian American community is being targeted by robbers who held them at gunpoint and snatched away their gold and other valuables.

Last month, police in Fremont, Calif., with a high Indian American population, arrested two men in connection with a string of robberies — Matthew Howard and Daryl Dove, who police said targeted individuals wearing “high-dollar necklaces and bracelets.”